Google Voice accounts to active U.S. service members who have a .mil email address. While we are still waiting for Google to finally open up its telephony service to all users, Google today announced that it will make Google Voice accounts available to military personnel. Staying in touch with family and loved ones is obviously quite hard for anybody who is serving overseas. Yet, with the help of Google Voice, family and friends of U.S. service members will be able to use a single number to get in touch with their loved ones. Members of the U.S. military will be able to receive calls and retrieve voice mails, no matter where in the world they are - as long as they have some form of Internet access and a U.S. phone number.Google is giving free
Google will set up new accounts for users with .mil addresses within 24 hours after it receives the request. For non-military users, it can currently take weeks before Google sends out an invitation.
Free Publicity Ahead of a Full Launch?
As Jared Newman points out in a post on his PCWorld blog, Google will obviously get a lot of free press out of this - and not just from the tech press, but also from mainstream news outlets. Google Voice already got a lot of press in the last week after Apple rejected Google's own Google Voice app from the iPhone App Store and ousted all third-party apps that made use of Google Voice. We don't want to be too cynical here (after all, this is a great cause), but we can't help but think that this announcement was timed to keep the public's attention on Google Voice.
Chances are that Google is getting closer to a full-blown launch of Google Voice or at least getting ready to allow users to send out invites to their friends.